Bryan came by to see me the other day and one of the first things I asked about was his sister, Danita. After her ninth grade year, she moved to Canada while Bryan, who is now attending college and playing football in South Dakota, finished here. Danita is brilliant, a term I use infrequently, and the sweetest young lady. This is from October 16, 2013.
My classes have covered Creation through Joseph and we'll start on Moses tomorrow before jumping into the Gospels shortly. On each test, we have a discussion question trying to get deeper into the materials we just covered. On our last exam, the question had to with Rebekah helping her favored son, Jacob, deceitfully obtain the blessing from her blind husband, Isaac, when it rightly belonged to Jacob's older twin, Esau. The students were instructed to write how Rebekah pulled off the charade with no pangs of conscience from her youngest son. Then, they were to discuss whether or not Rebekah, who came from a family of shady characters, was actually justified based on the protection of the family, a fulfillment of prophecy, and the utter carelessness of Esau, the next titular head of the clan. The following is from the test of one of my ninth graders, Danita. She is a tremendous student academically and a world class human being. It is used with permission of Danita.
I’m on the both sides on the matter. First, I say Rebekah was wrong, because Esau deserved his blessing from Isaac. It was a tradition, and no one could change that. Even if Esau made bad decisions, no one knows if he would change his ways and become more responsible when the responsibilities were placed on him. She could help Esau and support him and make Jacob assist him with the financial decisions on the family business. This would avoid these problems that they faced; Jacob running for his life, betrayal between the brothers although they reconciled, a mother never seeing her child again, and family being separated and divided. All these things happened because of greed, unreasonable thinking and favoritism.
On the other hand, I also think Rebekah did the right thing but used the wrong process of achieving her particular goal. Instead of her thinking about the present, she thought about the future. She knew that if the blessing was given to Esau, there was a big chance that Esau would destroy and squander the family’s wealth. This possibility was assured when he married pagan women who didn’t believe in God. Rebekah knew that if she allowed Esau to take the blessing, she would regret it later in the long run and she put all those thoughts into consideration. Esau had sold his birthright for just a common meal- that kind of man is not in any position to lead their family into a successful end. When Rebekah helped Jacob get the blessing, she knew that Esau would later come after him so she sent him away. She was wise and smart to do that because if Esau had killed Jacob, the blessing and future of the family could have also died. This is why I say that Rebekah was both justified and not justified in what she did.
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